British and Commonwealth super middleweight champion Jack Cullen believes that he is only just getting started.

Last September, Cullen (22-4-1, 10 KO’s) won the titles in sensational fashion, knocking out his North West rival and former gym mate Mark Heffron with a big left hook in the third round. On Saturday night the 30-year-old crowd pleaser from Little Lever defends his belts for the first time against his former opponent, Zak Chelli (14-2-1, 7 KO’s).

The pair first met in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, boxing to a controversial split draw on one of Matchroom’s Fight Camp shows. Most observers felt Chelli deserved the nod and Cullen is determined to prove once and for all that he is the better fighter.

“I’ve watched it back and I’m not gonna lie, I was f____ng terrible,” Cullen said at Thursday’s open work out. “I was absolutely garbage. Comparing the fighter I am now to the one I was then, four years ago. I’m a totally different fighter. You’ll see that on Saturday night on fight night.

“I want to get a defense or two and move on to bigger and better titles. Me as a boxer, winning the British title isn’t the end of me. In my mind, as good as I am I wanna go further and climb the ladder.”

A lot has changed for Cullen since the first fight. He has matured into a natural super middleweight and although he still likes to trade, he has learned to utilise his 6ft 3in frame since starting work with his trainers, Michael and Dave Jennings. The Jennings brothers are quickly forming quite the reputation in British boxing and last year, they guided another one of their fighters, Mark Jeffers, to an impressive English title victory over Chelli. They will have drilled the tactics into Cullen relentlessly and expect him to carry them out.

“In the first fight with Zak I was actually watching the fight on TV at home and was screaming at the TV,” Michael Jennings said. “I knew what he needed to do but he wasn’t doing it. He was backing Chelli up and stepping off. Just not carrying on with the shots he can throw. We’re not wanting Jack to get too close but we know exactly what we need to do to win.”